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Technical Paper

Predictive Breakdown Modeling for Spark Plug Design

Spark-plug lifetime is limited by the ability of the ignition coil to generate a spark channel. Electrode erosion during operation causes the geometry to deform and the maximum voltage required to form a spark increases until the ignition coil is no longer able to form the spark channel. Numerical models that can analyze the breakdown of the plasma in a spark plug have typically been limited to vacuum electrical field simulations and full-fidelity plasma models. In the present work, we present a fast, predictive breakdown model that blends the speed and computational efficiency of electric field model and incorporates the essential physics of the breakdown event without having to pay the cost of solving the full set of plasma governing equations.
Technical Paper

Multi-dimensional Modeling of Non-equilibrium Plasma for Automotive Applications

While spark-ignition (SI) engine technology is aggressively moving towards challenging (dilute and boosted) combustion regimes, advanced ignition technologies generating non-equilibrium types of plasma are being considered by the automotive industry as a potential replacement for the conventional spark-plug technology. However, there are currently no models that can describe the low-temperature plasma (LTP) ignition process in computational fluid dynamics (CFD) codes that are typically used in the multi-dimensional engine modeling community. A key question for the engine modelers that are trying to describe the non-equilibrium ignition physics concerns the plasma characteristics. A key challenge is also represented by the plasma formation timescale (nanoseconds) that can hardly be resolved within a full engine cycle simulation.
Journal Article

Mixture Formation in Direct Injection Hydrogen Engines: CFD and Optical Analysis of Single- and Multi-Hole Nozzles

This paper describes the validation of a CFD code for mixture preparation in a direct injection hydrogen-fueled engine. The cylinder geometry is typical of passenger-car sized spark-ignited engines, with a centrally located injector. A single-hole and a 13-hole nozzle are used at about 100 bar and 25 bar injection pressure. Numerical results from the commercial code Fluent (v6.3.35) are compared to measurements in an optically accessible engine. Quantitative planar laser-induced fluorescence provides phase-locked images of the fuel mole-fraction, while single-cycle visualization of the early jet penetration is achieved by a high-speed schlieren technique. The characteristics of the computational grids are discussed, especially for the near-nozzle region, where the jets are under-expanded. Simulation of injection from the single-hole nozzle yields good agreement between numerical and optical results in terms of jet penetration and overall evolution.
Technical Paper

Numerical and Optical Evolution of Gaseous Jets in Direct Injection Hydrogen Engines

This paper performs a parametric analysis of the influence of numerical grid resolution and turbulence model on jet penetration and mixture formation in a DI-H2 ICE. The cylinder geometry is typical of passenger-car sized spark-ignited engines, with a centrally located single-hole injector nozzle. The simulation includes the intake and exhaust port geometry, in order to account for the actual flow field within the cylinder when injection of hydrogen starts. A reduced geometry is then used to focus on the mixture formation process. The numerically predicted hydrogen mole-fraction fields are compared to experimental data from quantitative laser-based imaging in a corresponding optically accessible engine. In general, the results show that with proper mesh and turbulence settings, remarkable agreement between numerical and experimental data in terms of fuel jet evolution and mixture formation can be achieved.